Just like humans, puppies and kitties lose all their baby teeth. In most cases, the teeth come out by 6 months old. In fact, that is one tool vets use to judge the age of a puppy – if she has her canine tooth (the big fang) she is 6 months or older. So, what happens when the baby teeth don’t come out? Just like us, there is crowding. But, since most of us don’t floss our dogs’ teeth, “things” can get packed in there. These “things” include hair/fur, tennis ball fuzz and food. Not surprisingly, when that stuff gets in there, tooth decay starts. That’s the first step to tooth loss.
So, what to do? Sometimes, it’s an easy, in-office extraction. Sometimes, anesthesia is needed. If you chose to spay/neuter your pup, that is the perfect time. Occasionally, dogs will have crooked teeth as a result of retained puppy teeth. Since doggy braces aren’t widely available yet, just work with your veterinarian to make sure things are staying clean and shiny in there.